President Donald Trump on Sunday defended his administration’s decision to stop hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Pakistan, saying the country does not do “a damn thing” for the US.
He also claimed that Islamabad had helped Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden hide near the garrison city.
Trump also defended his administration’s decision to pull hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid to Islamabad in an interview with Fox News.
Host Chris Wallace asked Trump: “Wouldn’t it have been nice if we got Osama bin Laden a lot sooner than that, wouldn’t it have been nice?”
“You know, living — think of this — living in Pakistan, beautifully in Pakistan in what I guess they considered a nice mansion, I don’t know, I’ve seen nicer. But living in Pakistan right next to the military academy, everybody in Pakistan knew he was there,” Trump said, referring to bin Laden and his former compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
“You’re not even going to give them credit for taking down bin Laden?” Wallace asked.
“They took him down but — look, look, there’s news right there, he lived in Pakistan, we’re supporting Pakistan, we’re giving them $1.3 billion a year, which we don’t give them anymore, by the way, I ended it because they don’t do anything for us, they don’t do a damn thing for us,” Trump responded.
The compound was destroyed shortly after the United States Naval Special Warfare Development Group forces, in a helicopter raid, killed bin Laden in 2011.
The United States has already canceled $300 million in aid to Pakistan for its lack of decisive action against militant groups.
The cancelation of aid is part of President Trump’s New Year tweet in which he launched a scathing criticism against Pakistan for betraying the US.
“The United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit, thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!,” Trump tweeted on January 1.
The US president Donald Trump also said he had been fully briefed on an audio recording of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder but “does not want to listen to it himself”.
“Because it’s a suffering tape. It’s a terrible tape,” he said in the interview.
“It was very violent, very vicious and terrible.”
The CIA has reportedly concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s assassination in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul October 2.